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Question of the Week - For the Record...

Last night, I published this status on Facebook: Let the record show that on this date, my daughter said to me, "Wow. You know so many things!" I will need this record in another 10-15 years.

Children are wonderful. They are such a blessing, so sweet and fun and just amazing beings. Mine especially. Of course I'm not saying they are perfect--if you think that, then you've obviously not been reading my blog more than a nanosecond. But I really, truly enjoy being a mom, especially to my wonderful kids, through all the good and bad.

I hope to be saying the same when they are teenagers. The fact is, those preteen and teen years are difficult for every child and parent in one way or another. It's like the regression/difficult period before a developmental/cognitive leap goes on for years, rather than the weeks for babies or months for toddlers and preschoolers!

And when my kids get to that stage where they think they know more than their parents do? I'm going to need some good ammunition to shoot down their high-falutin ideas that they know more or can get away with things! Londo and I have been there and done that, then lived through having children. I'm also planning to use some good, old-fashioned guilt to ensure behavoir and respect. hehe.

So this week's Question of the Week is:

What do you want on the record so that you can pull it back out to share with your kids at a later date?

In addition to my daughter realizing my brilliance for knowing which letters begin many different words (such as M is for mommy and P is for pear), I also want on the record for my daughter the screaming car rides we put up with and all the night wakings. Every. Single. One!

For the record with my son, so far I want to put the extremely difficult pregnancy I had with him, and the many night wakings which required mommy-only-mommy-will-do nursing sessions. Oh, and that time when our power was out for two days and it was 48 degrees in our house and he simply HAD to have me get out of bed, pull down my shirt and nurse him in the freezing cold. Oh yeah, that's on the record!

How about you? What acknowledgements would you like recorded for prosperity? Any hardships you want remembered by the kiddos? What do you plan to bring up in their teen years?


Babes Mami said…
So far I have Mommy going through 27 hours of active labor with you getting stuck in my pelvis only to have to have an emergency c section and I would really like his ragefests or me doing everything one handed bc he crys to be recorded and played back when he is a teenager.
Katie said…
I'd like to forget the difficult stuff, at least for now.

But I'd like to record her obsessions with closing doors and throwing garbage away!
Becoming Mommy said…
Since he's such an easy kid, right now I just have:

-How incredibly late he was.
-How sick he made me.
-What a horrid biter he was
paola said…
Well, you probably remember that hubby isn't always present due to work commitments and that I have done most of the parenting these last 5 years. So, with that in mind, if they they turn out good, it is mainly due to ME. And if they turn out bad, it's only due to HIM!!
Geeks in Rome said…
I do have video tapes of some pretty god awful moments.

But I would be pretty careful about showing them and with how I phrase things because I would never want them to get the idea that having them and raising them caused us pain and discomfort. I wonder if that would make them feel terribly guilty and only reinforce low self-esteem problems that are MAJOR in the teen years.

I never would have wanted to know as a kid how my mom really experienced her labor with me and in fact she told me a very diluted idealized version and gave me the truth only AFTER I had had my own baby! I really appreciated that she wanted to protect me from feeling I was the cause of such awful misery.

I DO think it's good to tell kids "war stories" and how hard life was in a way that shows "we did it. we got through it and we are so glad we believed and plowed forward nonetheless" or perhaps there is a humorous crazy ending...

I have no problem explaining their past bad behaviors by putting them in context ("Pea's birth was so hard on you. You hit her a lot because you were so jealous of her, mad she was the center of all my attention. Plus she cried all the time and that upset you so much...") That kind of thing.

Something my mom did that I think was cool and I'm doing it now is when I was at that loving kid stage and told her I loved her and that she was the best, she'd go, "oh, well, you won't feel that way when you get big. When you get big you'll hate my pestering you, everything I say will seem boring or stupid and you'll just want me to be quiet."

I thought that was so strange! How could such a cool mom ever be stupid and annoying, so I "rebeled" and never thought she was stupid when I was a teen!

And when she was annoying we had a secret look where we'd look at each other as if to say "Oh here we go. This is where you are supposed to be annoying about something!" I'd roll my eyes and she'd laugh, "You see! I warned you!" It was pretty funny because it was more like role playing (she is supposed to tell me to empty the drier 10 times) than her being intentionally evil.

By forewarning your kids that you're going to seem like a royal pain in the butt (because the kid has changed, not the parent!) it diffuses a lot of tension and anger. It's like you know as a teen that it's temporary and this too shall pass. Because she would add that I would stop thinking she was annoying when I got older.
hush said…
@Geeks in Rome - what a cool comment. Your mom sounds fabulous! Thank you for sharing that!

I, too, don't want my kids to know the hardships, unsolicited. As in it's not my daughter's fault that my epidural didn't work, and I had horrific morning sickness. But once they're grown, and if they decide to be parents, and if they really twist my arm, I will tell them the truth... but in such a way as to make it abundantly clear that they were wanted, loved, and cherished, without sugarcoating the fact that parenting is damn hard work!

In the pre-teen & teen years I plan to re-read "Parental Effectiveness Training" once a year, and really work on the lessons in it about active listening, and how teenage rebellion is not a given. That book changed my life in so many ways.
caramama said…
@Babes Mami - Ugh for the 27 hours of active labor and emergency c-section! And doing everything one handed? I hear that! It's a skill you develop only when you have to!

@Katie - My girl has always been obsessed with closing doors, too. Unfortunetly, it screws up the air circulation in the house, so we've been working on getting her to leave the doors open. She's getting there.

@Becoming Mommy - Oh, yeah. My girl was so late, too! I'm going to be sure to bring that up. And I remember some of your biting stories. Yikes!

@paola - I love it! It works on both the kids and the hubby!

@Geeks in Rome - Of course, you are right. It's all in the phrasing and meaning you give the stories. I don't really want to guilt my children, but I think the "war stories" can be important to share and be honest about. I love how your mom handled it. To be honest, I never really did rebel against my parents or think they weren't smart.

Each of her three pregnancies, my mom had some sort of major medical condition occur. Appendicitis, hyperthyroidism and vericos veins, each requiring surgery at some point in her life. She always told us about it, and I think we always looked at it as what my mom went through to get the kids she loved so much. I'll have to figure out how she phrased it, because we all loved to hear her tell about it.

@hush - I really need to get the PET book now so I can start working on it now! And I agree completely with this: "in such a way as to make it abundantly clear that they were wanted, loved, and cherished, without sugarcoating the fact that parenting is damn hard work!"
Toni said…
I know my younger sister was hurt by being labelled as the difficult baby, as opposed to me, the easy one.
I do want to always remember how greta he thinks I am now. He says when he's older, after colege, he'll go work with me and will sit on my lap. I know one day he'll find me embarrassing, and I'll still have all those cool memories of how he adores us and is leraning the world around him.

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